Nineteen-year-old Canadian Alysha Newman and 15-year-old Venezuelan Robeilys Peinado produced the highlights of the 17th Pan-American Junior Championships that took place on 23-25 August in Medellin, Colombia, at the Stadium Alfonso Galvis Duque of the Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex.
Aided by the 1495m of elevation of the capital of the Antioquia Department, Newman won the Pole Vault with a North American junior record of 4.40m, the same mark as Peinado, who recently won the World youth title in Donetsk.
Newman came to Medellin with a personal best of 4.20m, set in Knoxville earlier this year. Peinado held the Venezuelan senior record at 4.35m, achieved in Barquisimeto in May.
Both Newman and Peinado cleared 4.15m, 4.20m and 4.25m on their first attempts. Newman passed at 4.30m while the young Venezuelan cleared that height with her third jump. Peinado passed at 4.35m where Newman also needed her third vault. Both athletes attacked the bar at 4.40m and the Canadian was successful on her first try while Peinado needed a second attempt. They both later failed at 4.45m.
Peinado confirmed her status as Venezuela’s greatest talent by improving her own national record. She also equalled the world age-15 best, set by Australia’s Liz Parnov in 2010.